F1 Styrian GP: Renault lodges protest against Racing Point cars

F1 Styrian GP: Renault lodges protest against Racing Point cars

Renault has lodged a formal protest against both Racing Point Formula 1 cars following Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.

It comes amid concerns from Renault over a possible breach by Racing Point of F1’s ban on customer cars and shared parts over the similarities between the Racing Point RP20 and Mercedes’ 2019 title-winning W10.

Renault is known to have been considering a protest against Racing Point for some time over the matter, but opted against doing so in the first Red Bull Ring race last weekend.

Racing Point put in an impressive display at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday as Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished sixth and seventh respectively, beating Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo to eighth at the line.

But Renault has now launched an official protest against both Racing Point cars, confirmed by the stewards in a bulletin on Sunday evening.

The stewards’ report confirmed there was a “protest lodged by Renault DP World F1 Team, alleged breach of Art. 2.1, 3.2, Appendix 6 Paragraph 1, 2(a) and 2(c) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations 2020 during the Race.”

The early articles stress that all competitors must ensure their cars are fully eligible to enter the championship, something Renault is protesting Racing Point is in breach of.

The cited articles in Appendix 6 of the sporting regulations read that: “A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it.”

“The obligation to design and use Listed Parts shall not prevent a competitor from Outsourcing the design and/or manufacture of any Listed Parts to a third party (including an Associate of such competitor) provided that:

“It retains the exclusive right to use the Listed Parts in Formula One so long as it competes in Formula One.

“In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor.”

Racing Point has been open in its plan to base the design of the RP20 car on last year’s Mercedes, and took a number of listed parts from Mercedes as part of their technical collaboration.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has regularly referred to Racing Point’s car as “last year’s Mercedes”, but said in Austria last week there were “no grounds” on which to submit a protest.

A short statement from Renault reads: “We confirm that Renault DP World F1 Team has submitted a request to the Stewards of the Event for clarification on the legality of the Racing Point RP20.

“We have no further comment on this matter until the Stewards have arrived at a decision.”